News in Numbers, August 8, 2016: Apple India sales decline, floods have killed over 300…

800,000

What is it? The number of smartphones Apple shipped in India in the April-June quarter of this year, according to a report.

Why is it important? This is a third lower than the 1.2 million smartphones the company shipped in the same period last year. These numbers do not look good at a time when Apple is betting big on India, even as its sales in China (its second largest market after the US) has slowed down recently. The Indian government relaxed some foreign direct investment norms a couple of months ago, where Apple was seen as one of the beneficiaries.

Tell me more: Apple’s loss seems to have been Android phones’ gain, whose shipments increased by over 28% to 29.8 million in the second quarter of 2016.

 

Rs 19 crore

What is it? The average overall pay package of the chief executive officers (CEOs) of 20 of the 24 private sector companies listed on BSE Sensex in 2015-16. The other four are yet to disclose this information.

Why is it important? This is almost double from the average CEO salary of Rs 9.9 crore in 2013-14 and a 35% hike from 2014-15’s average. This came during a year when the combined net loss of 11 BSE Sensex companies was Rs 33,905 crore, which far exceeded the cumulative net profit of 16 firms (Rs 23,525 crore) on this index. The three other firms posted a dramatic turnaround last financial year.

Tell me more: Of the six public sector companies on the BSE Sensex, details of only one firm was available, that of the chairperson of the State Bank of India, which was just Rs 31.1 lakh.

 

Rs 13,500 crore

What is it? The amount the government hopes to raise from public sector units (PSUs) buying back their shares in the next couple of months.

Why is it important? With the government having already garnered Rs 3,183 crore from stake sale in hydropower generation firm NHPC, employee subscription in Indian Oil Corporation and disinvestment in power utility firm NTPC in 2016-17, this is likely to take the total amount raised through this route to over Rs 16,000 crore – around 44% of the target the government has set from minority stake sale in PSUs this financial year. After missing its disinvestment targets for the sixth year in a row last year, these buy-backs could help the government achieve its target of Rs 56,500 crore in 2016-17 (with Rs 36,000 crore expected from minority stake sales and Rs 20,500 crore from strategic stake sales).

Tell me more: In June, the government had asked PSUs with a net worth of at least Rs 2,000 crore and cash balance of over Rs 1,000 crore to buy back their shares from the stock markets. A central public sector enterprise can seek to be an exception based on its financials and mentioning its capital expenditure plans.

 

> 300

What is it? The number of people who have died in different states such as Bihar, Assam and Uttarakhand due to floods in the recent weeks. Lakhs of them have been displaced.

Why is it important? Floods are an almost annual affair in the country during monsoon, which account for around 70% of India’s yearly rainfall. These occurrences are mainly as a result of poor drainage systems in urban areas with haphazard construction activities without due consideration to the hydrology of an area while in rural areas, it is due to bad policy decisions, climate change and man-made problems such as deforestation.

Tell me more: According to a 2015 United Nations report, India’s annual economic losses due to disasters is $9.8 billion, of which floods account for over $7 billion.

 

Rs 1,200

What is it? The proposed upper limit fee for issue of driving licences, up from Rs 320.

Why is it important? This is part of the proposed amendments to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, which is likely to make driving (any vehicle) more expensive. The charges for conducting a driving test is likely to increase to Rs 300 from Rs 50 while that for a twin-test (two-wheeler and four-wheeler) could be hiked to Rs 600 from Rs 50.

Tell me more: The other increases include hikes in cost of issuing smart-card driving licence, learner’s driving licence, international driving permit and introduction of fees for applying for changing details (such as residential address) in the licences. The states are allowed to levy additional fees for automation, technology and value-add services.

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News in Numbers, May 17, 2016: Buffett’s stake in Apple, RBS to shut down India operations…

0.34%

What is it? The increase in wholesale price inflation (WPI) in April against -0.85% in March.

Why is it important? It increased after 17 months of deceleration. Retail inflation also went up to 5.39% in April from 4.83% in March, bringing back worries about its persistence. This could dampen hopes of interest rate cuts by Reserve Bank in June.

Tell me more: The WPI’s increase was mainly due to an increase in prices of food and manufactured items. Wholesale food prices rose 4.23% on a year-on-year basis due to a sharp increase in the prices of pulses and potato. Prices of manufactured items rose 0.71% last month year-on-year.

 

2.5%

What is it? The minimum share of apprentices profitable public sector units must have as a percentage of their total workforce with the maximum being 10%.

Why is it important? This will help Indian government’s Skills India programme (launched last year), which has a target of skilling 40.2 crore workers by 2022. India, which has the world’s largest youth population, is estimated to require 120 million more workers by 2022 and their skilling is imperative for economic growth.

Tell me more: The estimated share of India’s workforce that undergoes formal training (2.3%) compares very poorly with that in other countries – 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in the US, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.

 

9.81 million

What is it? The number of shares investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has in Apple (as of March 31) valued at $1.07 billion.

Why is it important? This is Berkshire Hathaway’s second investment in a technology company – after IBM. Buffett buys companies with strong cash flows, decent dividends and a good management – and had avoided investments in high-growth tech firms because their future is harder to predict. His investment in Apple is an indication that the iPhone maker is transitioning/has moved from being a high-growth star to a low-growth but stable company.

Tell me more: Apple’s shares rose 3.7% to $93.88 on Monday after Berkshire’s announcement. The value of Berkshire Hathaway’s holding in the firm has dropped to $921 million since March 31.

 

10

What is it? The number of retail branches Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will shut down in India.

Why is it important? With this, RBS will wind up all its banking operations in India – as part of its global restructuring plans to reduce its presence from 38 countries to 13. Around 400650 employees are set to lose their jobs. The UK bank, which sold off its offshore loan book in India to UAE-based National Bank of Abu Dhabi and private banking business to Sanctum Wealth Management, failed to find any buyers for the rest of its India assets.

Tell me more: The bank will retain its back-office operations, which supports its global businesses and employs over 10,000 people.

 

62%

What is it? The percentage of children who attended a government primary school in 2014, down from 72.6% in 2007-08, according to an analysis by data journalism platform, IndiaSpend based on an NSSO survey.

Why is it important? Indicates an increasing preference for private schools and underlines the concerns about quality of education in government schools. Despite this and the fact that India has spent nearly Rs 5.9 lakh crore on primary education in the last 10 years, there has been a decline in learning outcomes, according to NGO Pratham’s 2014 report.

Tell me more: The data also confirms a popular perception that a higher percentage of children in urban areas prefer private schools over the government ones. Less than a third of children attended government primary schools in urban areas compared to 72.3% in rural areas in 2014.

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